Controlling in the Bedroom

September 28, 2013

in Series, Sexuality

A major control complaint for many men is sex. She controls when they have sex and what they do, and he’s unhappy with one or both of those. (This is reversed in about a quarter of marriages, I suspect porn is a factor in many of those.)

Woman saying no to sex. © Juliabronte | Dreamstime.com

Many husbands have concluded their wife is selfish about sex. I understand why they feel this way, but I think most of them are wrong. If a woman is selfish in general, sexual selfishness seems likely, but most women are not more selfish in bed than they are in other areas of their marriage. There is the whole “sex is different” lie some women use to justify sexual selfishness, but that is as much about the lie as it is the selfishness.

My theory is most wives limit sex because they honestly don’t understand how strong the male sex drive really is. Most will admit men have a somewhat stronger drive, although some will say it’s more about selfishness than sex drive. However, the lie that men and women are basically alike is strong, and it has left most women believing something other than the truth. To that end, I want to provide some information and evidence on male sex drive. I realise this may be the kind of information you can’t realistically share with your wife, but I hope putting it out will help some couples.

The part of the brain devoted to sexual pursuit is more than twice as larger in men as in women. This alone is strongly suggestive, but there’s more. A major review of studies on sex drive1 concluded man have stronger drives by every measurement possible. The summary of the study said, “No contrary findings (indicating stronger sexual motivation among women) were found.” Certainly, there are individual women who have stronger sex drives than individual men, but as a whole men have significantly stronger drives, and there’s not a single well done study conflicting with this.

A new study2 that has been in the news recently found men and women have the same level of sexual self-control. Men are more likely to give in to sexual impulses not because they lack self-control, but because their sexual impulses are much stronger. This study did some cleaver things to sort out drive and self-control and it looks very solid.

Putting a number on the difference in sex drive is difficult, but I’ve seen several sources say men as a whole have four times as strong a sex drive as women as a whole. I don’t think that means men want sex four times as often as women, but it does mean men want it more often, and it also means not having sex is far more of a problem for men.

My assumption is loving, generous women who understand the truth will make a significant effort to do a better job meeting their husbands much stronger drive.

Resources:

1 Is There a Gender Difference in Strength of Sex Drive? Theoretical Views, Conceptual Distinctions, and a Review of Relevant Evidence Roy F. Baumeister, Kathleen R. Catanese, and Kathleen D. Vohs Personality and Social Psychology Review 2001, Vol. 5, No. 3, 242–273

2 Sex Differences in Succumbing to Sexual Temptations: A Function of Impulse or Control? Natasha D. Tidwell Texas A&M University Paul W. Eastwick The University of Texas at Austin

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17 comments
deload
deload

This is an old thread but I hope someone can help me. My wife has openly admitted to me that she does not get anything out of doing/touching me sexually. She wants sex, but she does not get any satisfaction out of doing things that arouse me like even touching my penis. To me, it just feels like she is going through the motions so I wont complain, and she accuses me of refusing her if I do not initiate. I have scheduled my initiations because I want her to feel desired, so I do initiate and I will not refuse her because I would then be in the wrong. But after 20 years of this type of sexual relationship I just do not have any desire for her in that way anymore.

When she told me this I was shocked. I have not even brought this up to her because at least she was honest. If I tell her that I have lost desire for her over this issue then she will just say I am blaming her for everything. I have read and studied about unconditional love and have prayed and literally done everything I know to do trying to make sure I am just working on me instead of focusing on her. She has an orgasm almost every time we have sex. I have always tried to make sure her sexual needs were met, and I will admit that when I was younger I focused on this more than her other needs. But that has been years ago. I don't mean to sound like she is terrible and I am perfect. Its just that this issue is big to me, 

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@deload Sounds like a long standing lack of communication about sex. If you are both willing, you can change that now, but it does not sound like she is willing.

Given how long it's gone on, I would think this is only going to change with some help. Maybe some reading if she will go along with it and talk with you, more likely some third party help.

deload
deload

@TheGenerousHusband 

I think she might be more willing to read than to discuss sex in counseling. Can you suggest any books or materials that my wife and I could go through together.

 

needadvice
needadvice

So what if you are a wife that has a significantly higher driver than her husband?.. I am one of those wives..It is a very confusing, hurtful and difficult position to be in when every piece of info tells you " he wants it more",  "he needs sex MORE than you do" , "just being naked will turn him on "..etc  when none of that is the case in your own marriage- just the opposite actually.. It makes a woman feel "wrong" and " strange"

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@needadvice You are far from alone. It is the wife being told no in as many as 25% of marriages.

There are a variety of reasons, but porn use is the most common one. If he is involved in porn now he needs to stop so he can heal and learn to want and enjoy sex with a real woman.

Whatever the reason, it is his, but the problem belongs to both of you. I pray he will be willing to admit something is wrong and get help.

needadvice
needadvice

@TheGenerousHusband @needadvice 

Thankfully no.  My husband is a Christian .He is not involved with porn and never has been in the 15 years we have been married.. Adultery has never been an issue either.  He has always been faithful and loyal. I have no explanation.. Is it normal for a man to only want sex about 2 times a month???  When we do have sex it is wonderful..the problem is 2 times a month is not enough for me.. I need at least a few times a week - more actually and I do seduce him , flirt  and take what I want.. so to speak. Sometimes it works but often he pushes me away. it's not as bad it used to be but still It gets tiring to always be the one to get things started. if I always waited for him to be in the mood, our sex life would practically die- I know  this from experience. I personally think he has low testosterone . We have had many conversations about this subject- many through tears.. I have explained how this has affected my self esteem over the years and that I feel unwanted and unattractive- I have tried everything I know to get his fires burning -- Everything from lingerie, to taking control myself, spicing things up and giving him supplements.. Sometimes it works , but a lot of the time he pushes me away. I am at my wits end. He reassures me that he desires me, that he wants me and it's not something I am doing wrong or a problem in our relationship.. He says is VERY happy and satisfied in that area..  He says just doesn't want sex as often as I do or he says he is tired.. Though he admits that low testosterone might be the problem is unwilling to see a doctor. This has always been the case for us-  this is not a new or sudden change. I don't know what else to do.. I've spent much time in prayer about this ..even suggested we go to therapy- he is not willing.. I have even told him what the bible says about denying one another- he agrees couples should not do that- but yet he does deny me. often.  I appreciate any advice. TIA.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@needadvice @TheGenerousHusband Normal is a loaded word, but it certainly is uncommon.

I would change tactics and ask him if he would be willing to have sex just for you on occasion. He could use his hands, his mouth, or a vibrator. I realise this is not what you really want, but odds are it would lead to more of what you want with him, and even if it does not it can still result in some real intimacy.

lovemarriagesex
lovemarriagesex

I think that men tend to have a higher sex drive because it is so much easier for them to become aroused.  Men become turned on, then have sex, while women sometimes "agree" to sex, then become turned on through foreplay.  I think sometimes men get lazy and stop doing the "song and dance" required to arouse and satisfy their wife, and that in combination with the fact that a woman typically has more responsibilities within the family unit than the husband, and she just forgets about her sexuality.  It happened to me and it has happened to others.  If a man wants his wife to fulfill her responsibility sexually, he will need to fulfill his responsibility to her as well.

janna94
janna94

You said, "My theory is that most wives limit sex because they honestly do not understand how strong the male sex drive really is."

I would agree.  I was told this by my husband, I had heard it at conferences, in books, on blogs, but it never really registered because I was comparing it to my own thoughts, feelings and "how" I saw my husband.  My situation makes me think about the Scriptures where it talks about "those who have ears but don't hear" and that "the enemy has blinded them."  

For me, it truly took an act of the Spirit to convict me on my own behavior, once I was convicted on the wrong I was doing, then I saw with fresh eyes and heard with new ears all this information I had seen and "heard" before.  I was able to soak in the information from "For Women Only" and see the connection with my husband's words and actions.  I was able to really listen to what my husband said, and not put a spin on it.  And even listening to songs... songs that I use to wish someone would feel that way about me, I realized that men REALLY feel that way, and my husband DOES feel that way about me. 

I really can and do see men differently.  I'm doing an awful job explaining it.  But truly, it's like having bad vision, everything is blurry and someone can explain the detail of a tree, the colors, the individual leaves, how the wind moves it, and all I saw was a blob.  No amount of description could make me "see" what I knew with my own senses...not until there was a divine intervention. I had to be first told I had a problem, it wasn't the "describer's" issue, and it wasn't the tree, it was my "vision".  I realized that I wasn't seeing correctly (sinning), and that's when the Great Physician touched my "eyes".  Now all of a sudden, all the description's of the "tree" make sense. The description of the tree hadn't changed, the tree hadn't changed, my "eyes" had changed.  I see the blessings I truly have in my husband, I see the actions that make him "man", I see his needs, I see his reaction to me that confirms what he says is true...I was blind, now I see.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@janna94 I think you did a good job explaining it.

A big part of the issue is that so many others have the same vision problem, and they keep saying that what they see is reality. It is very difficult to see you have a problem when you are being told you do not!


Anonymous78
Anonymous78

Agree with your post. I believe that if there are sexual issues within a marriage, then the whole of the marriage has to be evaluated, as there are probably many causative factors. Those factors can be vary different and individualized to each marriage. And those factors may change over time as the marriage changes over time as both husband/wife have to be constant gardeners of their marriage.  

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Anonymous78 I agree there are many causes.

There are a good many non-sexual things that put women off sex, and I discuss those from time to time. Dealing with those is setting the foundation for a good sex life, and as such absolutely necessary. But I see marriages where those things are in good shape, and the wife is still saying no to sex far to often.

Roomtogrow
Roomtogrow

Before we were married, even through we never went 'all the way' I was always hot for him because we spent time together, he listened, I felt like he saw "me" and my desire was for him sexually...  soon after we married I saw that it was all about him and he spent his time on what, apparently, was really important to him: job, hobbies, sports, time with friends; you name it, whatever it was it wasn't spending time with me and certainly not about learning anything about sex that would make it better for both of us. No wonder I wasn't into him any more. We had sex; my drive for sex wasn't gone, just my desire for sex with him because it made me feel like a prostitute. He killed my desire with his selfishness. Now that I know the 'truth' about men's sex drives I am usually willing, even initiate (though he's not very interested) even though he still spends little time with me You can call it controlling or gate keeping but men could be more in control of their sex lives if they'd show the woman they supposedly love some attention on a regular basis or be aware of her needs (maybe for sleep! or help with the kids) and not just so you can score but because you CHOSE her, a person, not just a body. Why? Are the reasons you chose her gone or are you just neglecting her or taking her for granted? As far as self-control, what's wrong with men using some sexual self-control when they're married instead of getting angry when they don't get sex as many times in a week as they'd like? I have a drive to have hours-long deep, meaningful conversations with him but I don't press it because I know it's not going to happen without a lot of manipulation, which is just another form of selfishness.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Roomtogrow I think the idea of men being big on perusing and "conquering" are valid. The problem is when a man thinks his wife is something he has won, has secured, and won't take any more effort to keep. He moves on to "the next challenge" and fails to do what he needs to do in his marriage. 

I totally get why this causes a woman to lose interest in sex, and I do talk about that here. Sex aside, a woman needs a certain level of connection, and denying her that is just as wrong as saying no to sex.

hunter3316
hunter3316

It would be interesting to see a pole on this topic comparing actual sex drive to their spouses understanding of their sex drive. And perhaps even what the perception of their spouses understanding is. Linked poles that actual compaired partners answers would be most informative

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  1. […] Controlling in the Bedroom – I bet that lots of you out there feel that there are issues of control in the bedroom. Always love the biological information that Paul brings to the mix so we can better understand this awesome thing called marriage! […]

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